The Land Speaks Arabic

Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal
Volume 7, Number 2, November 2008

Documentary Film Reviews
Reviewed by Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh

‘La Terre Parle Arab’ (2007). Director Maryse Gargour. Arabic, French, English audio with English subtitles, 61 minutes. Winner of several European awards (ASBU, Prix France 3 Medirerranee, Prix Memoire du Medirerranee).

This excellent documentary on one of the most pressing issues of our time brings
together rarely seen footage of Palestine before 1948 juxtaposed with historical research, eyewitness accounts, stunning choreography, moving testimonials, and historical documents.

We can state the fact that before the Zionist project began in Palestine it was more heavily populated than the United States of today. We can state that Palestine 20 years or even fifty years after the Zionist project was launched was still predominantly Arab. But it is one thing to state a fact and another to have seen it or lived it. The next best thing is to have a film that shows you a video of the era and pictures of the documents of the era. That is what this film does in a very professional, practical, and effective way. Continue reading


Palestinian Prisoners Day

Art by Naji al-Ali


In honor of Palestinian Prisoners Day, Addameer confirms that now is the time to hold the Occupation accountable for crimes against the prisoners and detainees, and launches a global campaign against administrative detention.

Occupied Ramallah, 17 April 2013 – On Palestinian Prisoners Day, Addameer reaffirms its commitment to freeing the Palestinian prisoners and detainees in the Occupation’s prisons.Addameer reaffirms that the prisoners’ cause is the cause of the Palestinian people as a whole. Their struggle is central to the liberation of Palestinian land and the return of its’ people. It represents the front line of peace and justice.

Since the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, there have been more than 750,000 arrests of Palestinians, a figure which represents 20% of the Palestinian population of the occupied lands (including the 1948 Territories, Gaza, and the West Bank), 40% of the male population, and 10,000 females.

Since the Second Intifada erupted in September 2000, Occupation forces have arrested 78,000 Palestinians, among them 950 women, over 9,000 children and more than 50 ministers and Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) members. Since 1967, Occupation forces have issued more than 50,000 administrative detention orders (both new orders and renewals), 23,000 of them after September 2000. Continue reading

Palestinian Villages Destroyed and Depopulated During Al Nakba

Moshe Dayan as quoted in Haaretz, 4 April 1969:

“Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist, not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushu’a in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”

The same war criminal, Dayan, stated in 1956, just 8 years after Al Nakba:

“Let us not today fling accusation at the murderers. What cause have we to complain about their fierce hatred to us? For eight years now, they sit in their refugee camps in Gaza, and before [the Palestinians’] very eyes we are possessing the land and villages where they, and their ancestors, have lived … We are the generation of colonizers, and without the gun barrel we cannot plant a tree and build a home.” [Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, Original Sins: Reflections on the History of Zionism and Israel, and Avi Shlaim Iron Wall, p. 101]

  • Music: Marcel Khalife – The Bridge.
  • A Detailed Map of the Towns and Villages Depopulated by the Zionists in 1948.

Land Day: Celebrate Resistance and Intensify BDS

Art by Naji al-Ali

On March 30, Palestinians will commemorate Land day, a day in 1976 when Israeli Occupation forces shot and killed six young Palestinian “citizens” of the Israeli apartheid state. These brave youth were among thousands protesting the Israeli occupation state’s expropriation of Palestinian land. Today, we continue to celebrate Palestinian resistance to the ongoing land expropriation, colonization, occupation and apartheid.

Thirty-seven years after the first Land Day demonstrations, the Israeli occupation state continues its expropriation and colonization of Palestinian land. It continues to expand its illegal colonial settlements in West Bank, occupied Palestine, forcing Palestinians from their land. Palestinians also face dispossession and displacement inside the Israeli apartheid in the 1948 occupied Palestine.

For international supporters of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality, Land Day is an opportunity to develop campaigns for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the Israeli apartheid, particularly campaigns targeting the Jewish National Fund (JNF), agribusinesses and companies operating in illegal colonial settlements, all of which play a vital role in the continued theft of Palestinian land, resources and properties.

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) invites people of conscience across the world to join us in marking Land Day by highlighting BDS as an effective form of solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.

At a time when the Israeli occupation state is facing unprecedented levels of pressure over its continued colonization of Palestinian land and quickly losing the international support upon which it depends, let us work together to intensify our collective efforts to hold the Israeli apartheid regime and its supporters accountable.

BDS National Committee

If you are planning BDS activities to mark Land Day, please send in the details to

* This is an edited version of the BNC‘s statement. See the original here.

** See also the Land Day’s posters on The Palestine Poster Project Archives.

Land Day

Deir Yassin Remembered

Via: Deir Yassin Remembered.

Early in the morning of April 9, 1948, commandos of the Irgun (headed by Menachem Begin) and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a village with about 750 Palestinian residents. The village lay outside of the area to be assigned by the United Nations to the “Jewish State”; it had a peaceful reputation. But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Deir Yassin was slated for occupation under Plan Dalet and the mainstream Jewish “defense” force, the Haganah, authorized the irregular terrorist forces of the Irgun and the Stern Gang to perform the takeover.

In all over 100 men, women, and children were systematically murdered. Fifty-three orphaned children were literally dumped along the wall of the Old City, where they were found by Miss Hind Husseini and brought behind the American Colony Hotel to her home, which was to become the Dar El-Tifl El-Arabi orphanage.

Part of the struggle for self-determination by Palestinians has been to tell the truth about Palestinians as victims of Zionism. For too long their history has been denied, and this denial has only served to further oppress and deliberately dehumanize Palestinians in the Israeli apartheid state, inside Gaza and West bank, occupied Palestine, and outside in their diaspora.

Some progress has been made. Westerners now realize that Palestinians, as a people, do exist. And they have come to acknowledge that during the creation of the state of Israel, thousands of Palestinians were killed and over 700,000 were driven or frightened from their homes and lands on which they had lived for centuries.

– Deir Yassin Remembered seeks similar progress on behalf of the victims of the Deir Yassin Massacre . . .


The Ongoing Erasure of Palestine. By Naseer Aruri

Via: ZCommunications.

While many still entertain the idea of two sovereign states, Palestine and Israel, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, history, politics, and geography have made this solution unattainable for certain people — whatever rhetorical changes in American foreign policy may emerge from the Obama Administration. In fact, if the handling of the Goldstone report by Obama and his UN ambassador Susan Rice is an example, then the difference between Bush and Obama on Palestine/Israel is perhaps imaginary.

The Zionist movement and the Israeli state are in the last stages of achieving effective sovereignty over all of historic Palestine. Jewish ownership of the entire land of Palestine has been the ideological sine qua non of the state and of its progenitor, Zionism, from the outset. This central goal has been consistently obfuscated by, among many other ploys, issues of “security”; eternal victimization, the Nazi Holocaust and demands of “recognition” both of the right of Israel to exist in general and specifically as a “Jewish State.”

The Israeli nomenclature, “Judaization” of the land, first entered general public discourse in 1976, during the massive land confiscations of the country’s Palestinian citizens of the Galilee. We must acknowledge that we are witnessing the Judaization of what remains to Palestinians of historic Palestine (with the possible exception of the Gaza Strip).

Failure to understand the process of Judaization, on the one hand, and the concomitant erasure of Palestinian WUJUD (existence), in all its forms, on the other hand, dooms all of us to continue granting Israel and its supporters the power to accomplish the process of negating Palestinian identity and nationhood. Israel continues to dispossess as many Palestinians as possible. Self-governance is a chimera. ‘Legal’ manipulations; confiscation; expulsion and brute force are the reality. Continue reading